Suicide Prevention Month
September is Suicide Prevention Month. Suicide is not inevitable for anyone. Through care and concern, all of us can help to prevent suicide. I wanted to use this message to give you some resources to be part of the effort to prevent suicide.
First, you should know the risk factors. Risk factors are things that might make it more likely that someone will consider, attempt, or die by suicide. These factors don’t cause or predict a suicide attempt, but they’re important for all of us to be aware of.
- Mental disorders, like mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety and some personality disorders
- Alcohol and other substance use disorders
- Impulsive or aggressive tendencies
- History of trauma or abuse
- Major physical illnesses
- Previous suicide attempt(s) or a family history of suicide
- Job or financial loss
- Loss of relationship(s)
- Easy access to lethal means like guns or other weapons
- Local clusters of suicide especially among teens
- A sense of loneliness
- Lack of healthcare, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment
- Exposure to others who have died by suicide
Some warning signs may help you determine if a loved one is at risk for suicide, especially if the behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change.
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
- Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Withdrawing or isolating themselves
If you are worried about a loved one, or are thinking of suicide yourself, please get help. You can call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255, its available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also go to any hospital emergency room, or directly to Highland Hospital. We are here to help.